Controlling persons out, but supply workers and schemes still in spotlight

The Chancellor’s Autumn Announcement that the government will not be introducing new legislation to tax so called “controlling persons” was accompanied by a statement that the government would be strengthening IR35 to put beyond doubt that it applies to office holders for tax purposes.  This implies that the government is planning to amend the IR35 legislation and perhaps introduce categories or types of supplied consultants to which the laws apply for the first time. This move will supposedly bring the payment of PAYE tax into line with the current position with supplied officeholders as regards National Insurance Contributions. Draft legislation is to be published on the 11th December 2012.

Ravi Murphy, a director of Lawspeed, the recruitment law specialist, said “As with all these things the devil will be in the detail, and it is by no means certain at this stage whether the dropping of the Controlling Persons legislation idea, although clearly welcome, can viewed as an unqualified success.”

Also within the Autumn Statement but which did not receive the same degree of coverage and comment was the announcement that the government will undertake an internal review of offshore intermediaries being used to avoid tax and NICs and report on its findings at the Budget in March as well as a joint consultation between the Cabinet office and HMRC on the use of the procurement process to deter tax avoidance and evasion, potentially another layer of measures to join the recently introduced ‘Off-payroll policies’.

At an all day seminar to be held in Manchester on 18th December Lawspeed will be examining the draft legislation alongside its review of IR35, MSC, and liabilities for unpaid taxes. This follows the recent media expose of various avoidance schemes in the context of government focus on tax avoidance in these areas.

The seminar is a must attend event for anyone interested in this area. See and to book call 01273 236236.